Monday, November 30, 2009

Our Christmas Tree!!

I know some of you won't believe that I actually let my girls help me decorate our tree...but I do and here are pictures to prove it!!! Anyway, we put it up the weekend after Thanksgiving. Living here I am so thankful to have a pre-lit fake tree, it is from Costco so it actually looks very real, but now I can enjoy it earlier in the season, I don't have to water it, and it doesn't start to die in two weeks :) Being in the desert I think it would be really hard to keep a real tree alive...(although Costco was selling noble firs for only $45 this year and I was sorely tempted).


What I miss the most is the smell, so I put the little bath and body plug-in scent things next to the tree and all around the house, that way it still smells like Christmas!!


What I miss the least is lighting the tree....it used to take me about 3-4 hours and my arms would be a mess afterward...no sir, I don't miss that at all...






I usually put on the ribbon and then the girls and David do most of the ornaments. We alway break out the Christmas music and have it playing while we decorate...





The finished piece....this year the girls had been begging for "bright" ornaments, and I also felt like it was time for a change, so I used my copper/gold colors from previous years, and added teal...I love how it turned out!






Quite a few years ago I solved the issue of where to put my daughter's homemade ornaments by giving them a little tree of their own. This year we bought a new "bigger" little tree to make room for the growing collection. They strung the purple lights, and even have their own angel. Each year they pick out a new ornament to put on their tree.






One of our favorite things to do in the evening after the tress are decorated, is to turn off all the lights, except the tree, listen to Christmas music, sip eggnog and enjoy the tree as a family. I remember doing this all the way back when I was a little girl after we decorated the tree at Gamie and Papa's house. This year Abigail was so excited for this part...she poured the eggnog, added the nutmeg and served it all herself. It is so precious to watch them grow up and enjoy simple traditions that were started long ago.
I love Christmas-time!

Thanksgiving

Martin and Debe were able to join us for Thanksgiving this year, and we had such a good time. I prepared my pies and cranberry salad the day before. I bought my gravy at costco, and only had a turkey breast to cook, so everything went smoothly and without stress. This year I brined the turkey overnight with apple cider, orange juice and cloves (along with the salt water)...it was awesome! I think that will be my method from now on.


David didn't even have to out early for Black Friday...we have a tradition of him and his brother going out super early to buy inexpensive electronics. We miss you Doug!! They are usually home before anyone else even wakes up! This year, there was really nothing we desired to have, so he got to sleep in! So now hopefully my laptop will last another year! :)


Sorry..no pictures of the food...we were too busy eating it!!










Buring off the post meal slump by playing the Wii!!

the heart of my daughters

Hannah and Abigail and I had a wonderful girls night out a few weeks ago when Todd Agnew was in town for a concert. The concert also had Building 429...and the girls were so excited because they had never been to a "real" concert. (I told them I didn't go to a concert till I was in college....but somehow that has not deterred them from begging :)

I decided to procrastinate and waited until the last minute to buy tickets. I was going to buy them in person so I wouldn't have to pay a handling fee...they were only $15 each, so not bad. Anyway, the day of the concert, they dropped the price to $5 for the balcony. (this is in a church, so the balcony isn't very far away!) I was so thrilled to get the tickets 3 for the price of one. Once we got our seats... which were awesome...anyone was allowed to go right up to the stage. So the girls did for the end of Building 429 and the beginning of Todd Agnew...so it really didn't matter where we sat. The moral of the story, it sometimes pays to wait until the last minute!!

During the concert the lead singer from Building 429 did a presentation for World Vision. Now, we have been thinking about sponsoring a child for a long time, but quite frankly the last year has been so hard financially. As he was speaking about the needs of children in other parts of the world, Abigail started crying. She and Hannah both turned to me and asked to sponsor a child, and to help with their own money. I asked them if they wanted to wait until we got home, so they could pick one from the website? They both were adamant that they wanted one that night...my heart was so moved to see their passion and care for children who have so little.

So Abigail asked me to come with her to get one of the cards that the band leader was handing out. I knew they wanted a girl and I prayed (quickly) that the child would be from a country that the girls have a connection to. But I knew we would just get whatever card we were given. Abigail got the card and I looked at it and saw it was a little girl from Ethiopia! I was in awe...of all the countries we could have gotten!!...for those of you who don't know, my brother and sister-in-law just adopted a brother and sister from Ethiopia, so my girls were already very interested in children from this country. So cool!! :)

To see God move in my daughter's hearts and to watch them respond was such a joy. I think these are the moments you hope for as a parent, when your children's hearts are in tune with God's voice, without the persuasion of mom and dad.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Science Center

The Science Center was offering admission for free, so since I have wanted to take the girls there forever, but haven't wanted to pay the price of admission...I pulled them out of school early and went for the afternoon. They had a blast, esp in the physics area where they got to test out a bed of nails and
centripetal force.




























There is a bike that is suspended on a wire, and Hannah was so excited to do it. Abigail sat on it and then turned white and got off, she definately takes after her mom and gets vertigo very easily!!






Abigail trying it out...nope!! :)



video

This is a video of these little magnetic filings that "danced" to music...it was pretty cool!

Halloween

Here are some Halloween photos. 
Hannah carved her own pumpkin this year, I was seriously worried she would cut her fingers, but of course she was fine!   We first went trick-or treating with a couple of their friends in their part of the neighborhood.  There was a home where they had turned their back yard and garage into a haunted house, Hannah loved it, Abigail wouldn't go in! :) 
Then we came back to trick-or-treat in our neighborhood....needless to say we ended up with a bunch of candy!










Abigail's pumpkin





Hannah's pumpkin



Abigail and her friend Taylor :)






I got their costumes from a children's theater that sells their stuff every year or two.  Hannah is a monkey from Jungle Book, and Abigail's dress is from the Wizard of Oz and she put some funkey fabric over the top of it to be a Zombie Princess
















Abigail did most of her face make-up herself...including the lovely blody scars.







Abigail's 10th Birthday

Abigail's 10th birthday was Oct 24th :) Double Digits!!  Happy Birthday !!!


She wanted a monkey/jungle themed party this year, which mind you is hard to find just before Halloween! But I did my best. She had a friend party first and then we had a family party.

Abigail: I love you so much sweetheart!! You are growing into such a beautiful and amazing young lady :)








Yes, I made the cake, I think it turned out pretty cute, and Abigail loved it so that is all that really matters!!





Making door hangers




They were working on their door hangers, when the Macarena came on, and spontaneous dancing broke out... lol!!













Bobbing for bananas! yes...gross :)




Chocolate dipped spoons...these looked like a great idea on paper...they were actually a pain!










pin the tail on the monkey...Abigail drew the monkey :)



very much the wrong wall....for the monkey...



Popcorn and a movie

The next day we had our family party.  She wanted to go to Outback for dinner, she loves the mac and cheese :)  We got her a clothing designer kit, complete with a little model and fabric that she can drape.  I have promised her I will teach her to use the sewing machine :)  She is so excited, and I am so nervous!!